Study: 1 in 5 U.S. kids has a mental disorder

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-  A new report shows 1 in 5 U.S. kids has a mental disorder.

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study focuses on diagnoses in six areas: ADHD, behavioral or conduct disorders, mood and anxiety, autism, substance abuse, and Tourette syndrome.

Acent Children's Health Services in Jonesboro said the most common disorder they generally see is oppositional defiant disorder.

"A child that argues often with adults, talks back, theylose their temper, they're very angry, often blame others for their mistake,vindictive and resentful,"said Natalie Jones, mental health professional at Ascent.

Jones said more kids are being diagnosedbecause there is more information and awareness centered around mental health.

"There is just more behavioral issues at such a young agegiven different environmental concerns," she said

A new study by the CDC shows 1 in 5 kids under the age of 17has a diagnosable mental disorder.  AmberHogard is the clinic director and encourage parents to get their kids treatedas soon as possible.

"Mental health services are really important just because ithelps children be able to gain those social skills, interact with otherchildren appropriately, express their emotions appropriately.," Hogard said.

Ascent is a day treatment facility and offers a variety ofservices for kids with mental health disorders.

"We would treat with what is called behavioral modificationand they would go through family therapy as well as individual therapy with atherapist," she said.

In treating a child with a mental disorder, Jones says thereare factors that can be helpful.

"Kids need structureand they need that family support so that when they have their therapy time andwhen their going home they are getting the dame consistency across the boardfor all environments," Jones said.

She said boys and girls are diagnosed very differently.

"Generally boys are more inclined to be diagnosed with ADHDand oppositional defiant disorder is generally diagnosed with ADHD and this isfound in about 40% of cases," she said.

And if gone untreated, there can be negative long-term effects.

"Children can be labeled as a bad child or there is a negativestigmatism that is attached to them," Jones said.

"If left untreated though further down the road when theyget older they can develop a conduct disorder or be involved with othercriminal behavior."

Ascent is also having a summer program for the first time forkids with mental health disorders from ages 6 weeks to 8-years-old.

For more informationyou can contact Amber Hogard at 870- 933-9528.

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